Winter 2004, p.25

Commuter Profile
The Brown Family

It is a quick and fun trip to the park for soccer practice and games when the whole family takes to the street on two wheels.
It is a quick and fun trip to the park for soccer practice and games when the whole family takes to the street on two wheels.

Names
Nora Brown, 5; Sela Brown, 10; Hallie Brown, 12

Commute
N: Wherever the person in front is going.
S and H: We bike to soccer! We all ride up 10th Street from our apartment in Park Slope to Prospect Park where we use the bike path to get to soccer practice and games in the park and at the Parade Grounds. It takes us about 15 minutes.

Bikes
N: Hitchhiker II, attached to Dad’s bike.
S: Mountain bike.
H: Mountain bike.

Gear
N: Helmet
S: Helmet, bell and bike gloves for long rides.
H: Helmet, water bottle and biking gloves when I find them.

How long have you been bike commuting?
N: One-and-a-half years on a tag-along; before that, two years in a bike trailer
S: Since I was 5
H: 4 years

Why did you start bike commuting?
N: I wanted to!
S: Because my family did it and I wanted to be like them.
H: Our family bikes a lot and we got in to
it also.

Attire
N: Tee-shirt and shorts
S: Soccer uniform
H: Soccer uniform if we’re going to soccer or comfortable pants (not jeans) and a t-shirt.

Weather
N: I don’t bike if there is too much rain.
S: Spring and fall
H: Spring, summer and fall

Nora: They think my tag-along is cool. Sela: “That’s cool” or “you’re lucky” or “I like to ride bikes, too.” Hallie: My friends also bike.

Response from friends and schoolmates
N: They think my tag-along is cool.
S: “That’s cool” or “you’re lucky” or “I like to ride bikes, too.”
H: My friends also bike.

Memorable experiences
N: Going reaaally fast downhill.
S: We were playing soccer and it
started pouring so we had to ride home
in the rain.
H: Picking out my first mountain bike.
Best commute
N: Feeding the ducks along the way.
S: Riding over the Manhattan Bridge to Central Park.
H: The first time I made it up the big hill in Prospect Park.
Worst experience/commute
N: The attachment broke and I had to walk home while my Dad walked the bike.
S: I almost crashed into my sister and had to slam on the brakes.
H: Coming back home in the pouring rain.

Advice
N: If you’re on the back of the bike, you should look at the person’s bottom.
S: Make sure to where a helmet, because no matter how good you are, you can always fall over a surprising bump.
H: Bring a raincoat whenever you’re biking. Also, on hills, if you think you have to stop, keep going and reach for your goals.

Locking
We all use Kryptonite cable locks. Our mom carries them for us and then uses them to lock our bikes (together) to the fence at the soccer field.

Riding style
N: I’m doing the best I can!
S: I like to go fast.
H: I keep the same pace.

Ever see anything strange or particularly interesting en route?
N: Lots of horses in Prospect Park.
S: I’ve seen a dead mallard duck.
H: I had a bike accident when crossing between lanes in the park, but the guy had just had an accident five minutes before and he wasn’t wearing a helmet.

Memorable reactions
N: I sing when I ride and sometimes people will say, “Hey, that girl is singing ‘Hairspray,’ or ‘How cute!’”
S: Once, when I beat my sister in a
biking race, she tried to pretend she
wasn’t trying.
H: When I got into that accident, the guy yelled, “This is the second one in 10 minutes!”

Read more commuter profiles.